Let us count thy ways we love podcasts.
First, we all know that being present and in the moment includes not multitasking, buuuut…sometimes you just need a little company while washing the dishes/walking the dog/painting the basement. There’s nothing like a podcast when a book’s not an option, and you’re in the mood for something meatier than music.
Second, if you’re anything like us and are slightly obsessed with self-improvement, learning, and growing, then sneaking a few health and wellness podcasts into your week feels like a delicious little life hack. If we can take an Epsom salt bath while listening to lessons from zen masters, then it’s like effortless wellbeing homework.
So let us share some of our current favourites with you—they run the gamut from physical, to mental and spiritual wellness, with a healthy dose of motivation, empathy, inspiration, and a little bit of comedy thrown in for good measure. They can answer deep questions, make you feel understood, and help declutter the constant stream of wellness advice coming our way, daily.
For When You’re Feeling Uninspired
Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations: Let’s start things off with a heavy-hitter. If you’re missing Queen Oprah on your TV screen, then rejoice, for you can now invite her into your ears.
Taken from her ‘Super Soul Sunday’ interviews, these are excerpts of conversations with her guests, but with an engaging, personal introduction from the wise woman herself, featuring favourite quotes and life experiences that are surprisingly relatable. When Oprah talks about forgiveness, spirituality, and intention, you know it’s worth paying attention to.
Feel Better, Live More: There are thousands of amateur – but passionate – podcasters putting content out there right now. Still, if you’re going to give up an hour of your time, you’ll come to appreciate polished, well-produced episodes with experienced hosts.
This one, from Dr. Rangan Chatterjee, is one of the top health and wellness podcasts in the U.K. In the feed, you can find long interview-style episodes of over an hour and ‘bite-sized’ 10-minute episodes that promise a “weekly dose of optimism and positivity.” It’s got a great range, everything from mental health to diet, sleep, and stress, and if you’re a fan of a British accent, then that’ll be a nice bonus for you, won’t it!
Optimal Living Daily is likely the most mixed-bag podcast on the list, but we like OLD because it’s a nice break from the “this week’s guest is…” interview-style podcast.
These short (around 10 minutes) daily episodes feature host/narrator Justin Malik reading excerpts from the best articles, books and blog posts on minimalism, personal development, and life optimization. You’ll enjoy it if you’ve always meant to read those motivational books but never get around to them. Instead, try this daily audio nugget of advice.
For When You’re Aiming to Eat Better
The Nutrition Diva’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Eating Well and Feeling Fabulous: Phew! Long name for a tiny podcast.
These 8-minute episodes from nutritionist Monica Reinagel bust myths and bring sane answers to food and nutrition questions (fish oil! lab-grown meat! artificial sweeteners!). Perfect for when you’re just popping down to the supermarket or putting on a load of laundry.
Food Psych: First, it’s hosted by an “anti-diet dietician” (Christy Harrison), which we love, and second, it’s “A weekly show dedicated to helping you make peace with food and break free from diet culture,” which is sadly, still an essential service.
If you want to know more about intuitive eating and body liberation, then this will be an inspiring hour. With the podcasting world awash with dudes pushing supplements, these women speaking to other women and members of the queer community is a joyful revelation.
For When You Can’t Sleep
Get sleepy: There’s a whole, incredible niche of podcasts made especially to help you drift off, and while we love the big fish in this category – the weird and wonderful Sleep with me Podcast – a more recent favourite is Get Sleepy.
It’s got a beautiful sound design, a different, softly-spoken narrator each episode, and a short meditation followed by a bedtime story. Also, great, it’s a full hour, so no anxiety about the episode ending while you’re still wide awake worrying about that email you sent four days ago (not just us, right?)
Nothing Much Happens: Another sleepy gem. How can you not be charmed when the host makes you turn off the light, get comfy, take a deep breath, and then reassures you; “you have done enough for today, and now it is time to sleep.”
A meandering bedtime story follows – a simple story, in which nothing much happens – a cozy, calming tale meant to be “like a soft nest for the mind.” Mmmmmmmzzzzzzzzz.
For When You Need Help Adulting (and Who Doesn’t?)
Life Kit: When we’re all good with the mental, physical, and spiritual tune-ups but need to get some vacuuming done, this is the podcast where we press play.
Each episode is a handy nugget (20 mins) on everything from procrastination and saving money to deep cleaning your home and how to make hard decisions. You can choose the general Life Kit feed or the more curated Life Kit Health, Money, or Parenting feed because everyone needs a little help being human.
For When You Need to Slow Down
Tara Brach: Whether you’re new to meditation or on the enlightenment train, you can still appreciate a little sage guidance for your daily practice. And believe us when we say there are a TON of meditation podcasts out there.
But one we often come back to is from Tara Brach, a leading western teacher of Buddhist meditation and mindfulness. She has both ‘conversation’ episodes and guided meditation sessions; we love the latter for their simplicity and the warm, wise, and caring sound of her voice.
Hurry Slowly: Calm, comfort, and clarity – how does that sound? This is another podcast that originally pulled us in because of the velvety sound of the host’s voice, but we stayed because it’s a closer look at wellness and our work, which has become so important this past year.
Jocelyn K. Glei does a great job of convincing the listener that we can be more productive, creative and resilient by slowing down. And if she can make inroads with those of us who need podcasts, so we’re not left alone with our thoughts, she can help anyone…!
For When You’re Feeling a Little Low
Ten Percent Happier: You may have already heard of the book of the same name, by Dan Harris, host of this show. He’s known for his writing on meditation and mindfulness.
Still, his interviewees are varied, conversations are thoughtful – on subjects like gratitude, self-love, and social media. Plus, what we really enjoy is that you can go to the Ten-Percent Happier website after each episode and see a super helpful list of all the resources that happened to be mentioned that week, from books and other websites to documentaries and interesting people.
The Empty Bowl: Last but not least, we just had to mention one of the quirkiest podcasts on our audio rotation. The Empty Bowl is a self-described “meditative podcast about cereal,” and if you’re anything of a cereal fan (or just a fan of silly randomness), then this one will delight.
The two hosts call themselves “Cereal enthusiasts,” “cereal connoisseur,” and “cereal astrologer” (We can tell a lot about you based on the cereals in your kitchen right now).
They spend half an hour talking seriously but soothingly (over a lovely ocean-scape soundtrack) about cereal innovation, cereal champions, box art and breakfast mysteries. If you really need something to take your mind off the state of the world, this truly is it.
Happy listening, wellness warriors.